the word gymnastics comes of the greek word »gymnos« which means naked. in anciente greece existed gymnasium, where man exercised for fighting. They did this exercises nakedly.
In Germany 1810 Jahn created new exercises for the military and he calles it »turnen« because he refused the word gymnastics because this wasn't a german word.
Nowadays gymnastics are practised with or without any sportsgear. No sportsgear are used in streetjazz, jazzdance. In rhytmic artestic gymnastics there are used gymnastic rings, gymnastic ribbons, gymnastic balls, Indian clubs and ropes.
there is also a kind of gymnastics which straigt descendet from jahn and there are used for females assymetrical bar, balance beam, floor, vaultin horse and for male there is the symmetrical bar, horicontal bar, pommel horse and rings. A synonym for gymnastics is apparatuswork.